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Second off-campus robbery under investigation

A USF student was robbed near 50th Street on Friday – the second such incident involving a student in that area in a week.

The robbery occurred at about 11:20 p.m. in the parking lot of the Bordeaux Village Condominiums complex. The victim was approached by a white male holding a tire iron and what may have been a gun. University Police (UP) spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said the suspects fled after stealing the victim’s possessions.

She said the victim also reported that there were others in the car when he fled, but does not know how many.

A similar incident occurred in the same area Aug. 31 at 1:59 a.m. The victim – another USF student – reported being robbed by four white males near 50th Street and USF Elm Drive.

“The descriptions are quite similar and they were in the same general location, so there may be a connection,” Ross said. “But there is really not enough information yet to say definitively one way or the other.”

Ross said UP is patrolling the streets that border USF as well as the actual campus and is adding more patrols in the area.

“We’ve had two of these incidents so close to campus. We are certainly going to be patrolling more heavily,” Ross said. “We will be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles and signs of activity that match the descriptions.”

Kenneth Brown, a junior majoring in biomedical sciences, transferred from Nassau Community College in New York two weeks ago and said he feels safe at USF.

“There are lots of students around, and I don’t go off campus that much since I live in Magnolia,” he said. “But I’m from New York, and I’ve seen it all, probably twice.”

Alexander Rivera, a sophomore majoring in psychology and philosophy, said he has had security issues at USF in the past.

“I did have my car stolen last year, but I got it back, so it was more of just an inconvenience,” he said. “I walk around campus at night without feeling threatened.”

Ross said students should remain alert, walk across campus in groups, stay in well-lit areas and take advantage of safety programs like SAFE Team.

“Keep your cell phone on you at all times and dial 911 if you see something suspicious,” she said. “Don’t approach any car that gives you cautionary concern. Also, if you are wearing earphones at night listening to music, you can’t hear anyone approaching you from behind, and it is not safe.”

Both robberies are being investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.